Silage Management

 Knowledge Nuggets | Fact Sheets | Research Papers
Knowledge Nuggets
  • Harvest the silage crop at the stage of maturity suitable for the needed nutrient levels. If you want higher protein and lower energy, harvest the crop at a younger stage.
  • Chop the material at the proper length, fill the pit rapidly and pack the feed tightly.
  • Quickly and completely seal the pit around all the edges and on top. Secure the plastic with tires or other suitable material so that it is completely tight.
  • Wind should not be flapping the plastic as oxygen gets pumped under the plastic.
  • Leave the pit or pile sealed at least 14 days for the ensiling process to complete.
  • Half of the dry matter will be lost in the top three feet if a proper seal is not achieved and maintained. This loss costs two times more than the cost of a cover.
  • The most valuable ingredients are lost if the silage is not sealed. When mixed in the ration, the degraded material reduces animal consumption and performance. In some cases mycotoxins have been found in this degraded material.
  • Proper sealing may be the most important part of making good silage.
  • Decomposition losses when feeding can be minimized by feeding fresh material daily.
  • Size the face of the pit to remove 6-12 inches off the whole face per day. Calculate the amount of silage you need each day and build these factors into sizing the face of your silage pile or pit.
Fact Sheets

Bunker Silo Density Study Summary Report 2004-2005 - available in PDF format only

Bunker Silo Sizing and Management - available in PDF format only

Economics of Sealing Horizontal Silos - available in PDF format only

Harvest & Storage - Haylage & Corn Silage

Heat Damage in Silage and Hay

Horizontal Silos - available in PDF format only

Improving Silage Quality - available in PDF format only

Making Good Silage

Management Guidelines During Harvest and Storage of Silages - available in PDF format only

Mycotoxins In Silage: A Silent Loss In Profits

PM Cutting with Wide Swathing: An Option Compatible with Silage in a Day - available in PDF format only

Recycling Farm Plastic Films

Silage management: three important practices

Sizing Horizontal Silos - available in PDF format only

Silage Management: Five Key Factors

Silage Manual

Silage Storage Techniques

Silo Gas Safety

Storing Forage in Piles - available in PDF format only

Research Papers

Effect of maceration at mowing on silage conservation, voluntary intake, digestibility and growth rate of steers fed precision chopped or round bale silages - available in PDF format only

How to Maintain Forage Quality During Harvest and Storage

Improving protein utilization in silage to increase animal performance and reduce environmental burden

Performance of lactating dairy cows fed macerated forage conserved as silage or hay - available in PDF format only

Proteolysis in alfalfa silages made from different cultivars

The Fundamentals of Making Good Quality Silage

Towards Improved Silage Quality - A Review
  For more information about the content of this document, contact Grant Lastiwka.
This information published to the web on October 16, 2003.
Last Reviewed/Revised on July 5, 2016.

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